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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27460
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If you are a convicted felon in louisiana for drugs, my charges

Customer Question

If you are a convicted felon in louisiana for drugs, my charges were distribution of mari. poss. wit/int to dist. mari. in 2003 and i got convicted of simple possesion of mari. in around and it enhanced to a felony due to 2nd offense. in there anyway i can get these off of my record.....ive completed probation and sentencing and have the right to vote back but would like to be able to own a gun again to hunt and for protection in my home
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

There are various ways to try to get your gun rights back. The first would be to get your felonies expunged if possible. Here is a link to a plain English version of Louisiana's expungment law. However, Louisiana is not generous about adult convictions, and you would appear to be ineligible unless your probation was of the sort where the court dismissed your case once you completed your requrements. And that would likely only remove one of your two.

If I am correct and your old cases are not expungeable, another way you can try to get your gun rights back would be by applying for a governor's pardon. The Louisiana Board of Pardons does the screening for the Governor. Information about that and the application form can be found here.

Those first two ways do not require a laywer.

Thirdly, Louisiana automatically restores gun rights ten years after completion of a felon's drug sentence provided he has not been arrested for another felony. If you don't want to wait all that time, the fourth way Louisian would allow the restoration of your rights is if you are able to obtain a permit from the chief law enforcement officer of your parish. That may be easier said then done with two drug felonies that aren't that old. If you want to go that route you should probably sit down first with a local lawyer who can help you package yourself better despite the convictions.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My first charge was eligible for expungment but i never did it.....would that be out the window since i recieved a second?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

Sorry for the delay. I'd turned off my computer and gone upstairs to sleep by the time you posted your reply.

One requirement in Louisiana for a felony expungement is that you can not have been convicted of another. So you're no longer eligible. Still, for either expungement purposes or for your gun rights it would make little sense to go through the process if you could only remove one conviction. It doesn't help you much. The pardon, if you can get one, could be as to both.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So how does it work am I screwed for life or will I ever be able to get them off?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

Unfortunately, if there are no expungement possibilities, you are basically screwed for life. You could hire a lawyer and seek somehow to have your old cases reopened and dismissed in the interest of justice, but it's a longer than long shot. It would be very expensive and likely be denied by a judge. Basically, all states want their criminal convictions to stick because the state has an interest in preventing people from committing crime. That is why expungement is so limited in the first place. So you'd need a compelling interest to balance against and overcome the state's interest in deterring crime. Just wanting a clean record wouldn't be enough.

That leaves you with a pardon. A pardon will not remove your conviction. However, if you can get one, the conviction on your record would display as "Pardoned by the Governor." Pardons are easy enough to apply for but difficult enough to get granted so that it is helpful for purposes as of a housing or employment background check. It's official recognition from the highest authority in your state that you have turned your life completely around. As you don't need a lawyer to apply or to get one granted, you have nothing to lose by trying for one.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My purpose for doing this is for a better job opportunity I've have quite a few doors opening for me in the oil and gas industry but the major companies won't hire me with these convictions. this is terrible that some like this would haunt me forever. There should be a time frame. I am so disappointed
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

I understand. You make the necessary changes in your life and still can't get past the earlier part of your life. My state has no expungement law, so it's even worse here.

Apply for the pardon. Not everyone gets one, but if you are among those who do, it's almost as good and should relieve a lot of the employment discrimination.